The day after Fourth of July is peaceful on Lake Minnetonka.

“The rain yesterday actually helped calm things down a little bit,” Hennepin County Special Deputy Sergeant Mary Radtke Strum said.

However, a celebration is a celebration and with that, Radtke Strum and the other divers came across trash on the bottom of the lake near Big Island.

“We found a lot of sunglasses, found some beads, found a couple of American flags,” Radtke Strum said. “Lots of beer cans, unfortunately, and plastic cups.”

Radtke Strum has seen these before during her years of diving with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office. Before she started volunteering her time with the Sheriff’s department, she had been a diver since 1999.

“We have what’s called a goodie bag which is basically just a mesh bag, a laundry bag,” Radtke Strum said. “A laundry bag. You carry that around with you and you put everything that you find and when you bring it up, you dump it into a trash bag.”

She explained that you go back in as many times as needed. She did have some good news though– this year, the load was a little lighter.

“It’s good that people are finally paying attention to the fact that everybody has to share this lake and you can’t throw your trash anywhere you feel like it,” Radtke Strum said. “It’s really good that we’re finding less and less every year.”

Party-goers proving in 2018, that they’re proud to be American, and Minnesotans who care about their environment.

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